Farmers are not the only people who should be worried over the Murray Darling Basin Plan ("Farmers warn river lifeline may sink sector", December 4).
The latest "lifeline" that passed the Senate was no lifeline; it has just delayed the inevitable decisions that will have to be made sooner rather than later.
The old plan failed to deliver sufficient water to the river as will the new "buy-back" scheme. The Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, is not buying back water, she is buying back the rights to pump water out of the river that has not been used.
The MDBP must look at the basin's long term overall rainfall - its only source of water - and the river flows over the years so that it can calculate the amount of water that could be available to distribute to the many competing bidders.
It will then become evident the plan is about divvying up water that doesn't exist.
Entire towns may have to be abandoned to reduce the population within the basin and the area of irrigated farming may have to be reduced so the river systems can be sustained. Currently they are dying, which could prove to be the worst of all scenarios.
Murray Upton, Belconnen
Jesus speaks to all
Keith Hill (Letters, December 1), apologies. My point was not to discredit woke values, but to note Jesus' teaching does not neatly mesh with one ideology or another.
His call for a revolution of the heart, the source of passions, surely speaks to us all. To put it another way, his dual message - love God and love neighbour - challenges both religious people who overlook justice, and secular justice warriors who deny the divine. His teaching should be considered holistically.
Cathy Douglas, Jerrabomberra
Dental care essential
I agree with Annie Lang that the RBA's Michele Bullock made a big mistake when she suggested that people give up dental or hair care in order to help reduce inflation.
Whilst hair care does have a replacement option of doing it at home, dental care is a very important part of our health care.
Not only should we all do whatever it takes to preserve our teeth, but dental neglect can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, bad breath and serious illnesses including heart and kidney diseases.
I find it very irresponsible of Ms Bullock to suggest giving up on dental care.
Marianne Pietersen, Birkdale
Red in tooth and claw
So, Alex Wallensky (Letters, Nov 29), nature seems now to be behaving in a way that fits with your preferences. That's wonderful for you. But you, and all humans, need to realise that your specist preferences are simply anthropocentric irrelevancies.
Animals will behave as animals behave. The magpie will eat the cute skink. Currawongs will harvest lovable baby silvereyes from their nest. Many birds will eat insects. Some species will abandon the runt of the brood to starve in order to give the others, and their own genes, the best chance of survival.
We all need to leave animals alone, stop culling, controlling and confining them.
As there are still wattlebirds in Alex's yard, they have clearly been successfully breeding all the time. Nature balances.
Mike O'Shaughnessy, Spence
Letters are core business
Australia Post needs to get back to providing quality next day letter delivery services, which sadly have been erratic and unreliable for a good decade since a CEO expressed the wish to get out of letter deliveries all together.
Letter delivery provides communication security for a nation should other communications break down - think of the Optus failure - and elected government needs to realise Australia Post is a public service.
It needs to get Australia Post back to behaving like a good public servant, seen and not heard, doing its job, well.
It could do without idiots with the mentality of gifting executives Cartier watches as bonuses as well.
John Dobinson, Brisbane, Qld
Gazans chose Hamas
The people of Gaza elected Hamas as their government. Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by most countries around the world.
Those who support Hamas have values and beliefs completely at odds with those of most Australians.- Kenneth J Mitchell, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Hamas launched a surprise terrorist attack on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. They shot, murdered, butchered, decapitated and incinerated 1200 innocent Israeli citizens and took 239 hostages, more than 120 of whom are still being held.
Israel declared war saying it had to destroy Hamas to protect its people.
Meanwhile people in Australia staged loud and violent demonstrations, encouraged by hate preachers, in support of Hamas and the massacre.
Those who support Hamas have values and beliefs completely at odds with those of most Australians.
If they feel that strongly they should return to Middle East at their earliest convenience and join the terrorists and murderers.
Kenneth J Mitchell, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Refunds hard to get
Don Sephton's letter about Medicare hanging onto claimants' benefits (Letters, December 1) reminded me of a not dissimilar incident relating to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) some years ago.
I had inadvertently paid my tax bill twice. Not only did the ATO not alert me to the double payment, but it did not offset that amount against my future tax bills. It was only when my accountant later stumbled across the double payment that we were able to do something about retrieving it.
Of course, if a private company held onto money belonging to members of the public, politicians would be quick to condemn the practice. However, because Medicare and ATO are Australian Government entities, they are able to get away with such unconscionable conduct, presumably on the basis that the money is better in their pockets than ours.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
There is no genocide
I was very saddened reading Sara Hijazi's heartfelt article "My family's homeland under siege is a daily heartbreak" (November 30), not because I think what she wrote is true, but because she no doubt believes it. Her letter is reflective of how Palestinian youth feel, in Australia, the West Bank and Gaza.
Sara writes that she dreams of a world where Palestinians aren't experiencing ethnic cleansing and genocide. She doesn't need to dream it, because it is the world we live in. The Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza has increased five times since Israel took those areas in 1967.
All quality-of-life indicators, including life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, access to education, and access to electricity, have improved exponentially since then, comfortably outstripping surrounding Arab countries.
Sara may not even know that Jews are indigenous to Israel, or of the many Israeli offers of a Palestinian state.
What hope is there for peace when Palestinian youth are taught and incited to believe such misinformation about Israel?
Douglas Randell, Nicholls
David Bates claims (Letters, November 27) that all Israeli citizens have equal rights. That is patently untrue. Palestinian Israelis have many restrictions which apply only to them. There is discrimination in education, on where they can live, what jobs they can do.
British Jewish author Susan Nathan details this inequality in her book The Other Side of Israel. Israel is an apartheid state, not only for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but also for Palestinians in Israel, who make up around 20 per cent of the population.
Kathryn Kelly, Chifley
Very "old school"
The St John's Schoolhouse Museum Board was very pleased to see our historic little building featured in Times Past on November 30. On this date in 1967 The Canberra Times made reference to the building's imminent restoration and future reopening as a museum.
We are happy to report that 54 years after that article the St John's Schoolhouse Museum is a much loved storehouse of early education and local history.
Our former school and schoolmaster's residence is in very good condition for its age and we look forward to celebrating its 180th birthday with the Canberra community in 2025. The museum is open on Wednesdays from 10am to 12pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.
Jennifer Garden, Downer
ANU Voice study legitimate
Declan McGrath (Letters, December 1) called an ANU study of what Voice referendum voters thought about Indigenous issues "ridiculous".
Politicians of various stripes are trumpeting about what else the vote meant. At the extreme, some are saying that all Indigenous consultation at any level is now treason because the Voice vote was "no"; that there may be no truth-telling or scrutiny of history anywhere. At the other extreme, some are saying that the vote only meant a constitutional mechanism was the wrong way to go.
It isn't "ridiculous" to try to find out what voters wanted on a range of indigenous policy questions.
Christopher Hood, Queanbeyan, NSW
TO THE POINT
PAT ON THE BACK
I recently criticized the ACT government for closing one lane of Neptune Street in Woden for the past two years for no reason. Recently. It has been reopened and cleaned up. Whether coincidence or not, they deserve a pat on the back. Rarely given, but deserved in this case! Well done.
Peter Haddon, Jerrabomberra, NSW
CUTS BOTH WAYS
Palestine also has a right to exist. (Letters, December 1).
Kenneth Griffiths, O'Connor
ON CLIMATE DENIAL
I've long wondered what the climate deniers, who have prevented serious countermeasures for 30 years, would say when they finally have to take their fingers out of their ears. I think Mark Sproat (Letters, December 4) said it all. Peter Dutton, on the other hand, is still claiming to be able to tell the real threats from fake ones.
S W Davey, Torrens
Anthony Bruce (Letters, December 4) says patients go to hospital "to get better". Many Japanese, reflecting on how they hear us pronounce "day", think Australians say they're "going to hospital to die". Given the state of some of our hospitals that might not be far from reality.
Keith Hill, Canberra City
SIMPLE AS ABC
I was sceptical about Michael Hall's claim Zed's right-wing views were a result of alpha genetic predestination (Letters, December 4). Then I thought of the ABC.
John Bromhead, Rivett
WHO ARE THE FASCISTS?
Some pro-Palestinian supporters accuse Israel of being a fascist state. They forget the Palestinians voted in Hamas, a fanatical Islamist terrorist organisation that makes no bones about wanting to eradicate Israel. The brutal attack on Israeli citizens on 7 October justifies the Israeli government's response as Hamas has indicated that it will continue the Isis-like attacks in the future.
Coke Tomyn, Camberwell, Vic
I agree with Anthony Bruce (Letters, December 4) "The gender of other patients is immaterial" (in a hospital ward). If we were less rigid in our division of the sexes and promoted gender equality by having no single-sex schools and unisex toilets there may be less gender based violence.
Felicity Chivas, Ainslie
SHARP LESSON NEEDED
Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, the USA and Russia need to put their heads together so a responsible entity such as them UN can bang their collective scones together for the childish behaviour they exhibit.
Bob Howden, Kambah
SAVE COGGINS BAKERY
I am saddened by the state of the old Coggins Bakery building in Braddon. This beautifully understated 1925 building is in a sorry state. Unoccupied and covered in graffiti it appears it is being left to deteriorate so developers can demolish it and put up another soulless eyesore. The ACT government needs to step in.
Peter Magee, Watson
WHAT'S IN A NAME
If I hear the ABC refer to the murderous thugs responsible for the October 7 massacre as "militants" one more time I'll scream.
M Moore, Bonython
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